Star Crossed: a Stargazer novel
by Jennifer Echols
(Pocket, $7.99, PG-13) ISBN: 978-1-45167-775-1
****
Transitioning from late-teens and college-aged romances with an edge into more mature reading, Jennifer Echols presents readers with a new series about a public relations firm called Stargazer, the first book of which is Star Crossed.

Wendy Mann's dream job as a PR representative for Stargazer is on the line because she can't hold her tongue. And, though Wendy has always been nothing if not dedicated to her career, this means that saving Lorelei Young from herself is an absolute must. Unfortunately for both Wendy and Lorelei, much of Lorelei's problem stems from her ex, a teen sitcom star named Colton Farr - who not only reminds Wendy of her own high school sweetheart-turned-nightmare, but who is being represented by Daniel Blackstone, Wendy's arch-rival since college.

Daniel's success from college until now revolved around his brother's death during 9/11 and his father's drive to leave the family business in Daniel's hands. However, forced into close confines with Wendy not only dredges up the attraction he's felt for her for the past decade, but also opens his mind to the possibilities available to him outside of Hollywood.

When Wendy's nightmares become reality, however, Wendy and Daniel must lay aside their feelings to maintain both safety and professionalism - because, for a PR rep, the client comes before such silly things as personal bodily harm.

Though Star Crossed seems a little silly compared to some of the teen titles that came before it, Echols displays the same knack for addressing the heart of the matter - as well as the hearts of her characters, as always. Sticking to her roots, Echols also revisits a few of Wendy's and Daniel's college scenes in flashbacks as a means of showing how each ended up in their current place in the world. Though I would not necessarily recommend this title for Echol's younger teen readers, adult and high school-age readers will be pleased with the development.

--Sarrah Knight


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